Posts Tagged ‘baltimore city’

Building Relationships and Healthy Habits – The Y

In strictlybaltimore on December 11, 2012 at 10:27 am


Healthy Living and Relationships at The Y

If you set inside a Y facility you will see what they do and if you attend an event or program you can see why their necessary for a community. The Y is community based gym facility that hosts events and programs to enrich and cultivate the community.

The YMCA stands for the Young Men’s Christian Association but has evolved in to “the Y” due to its outreach to everyone. The organization was founded by George Williams in 1844 in London. It was built as a place of refuge for the young men from the harsh city life at the time.

Now over 160 years later the Y is still around but has now become an important part of the community it serves. Once a Y is established in a community, they become a vital part of a community’s growth through their activities and programs. With the help of the Y, people can realize their potential in volatile communities by becoming a safe drug free environment.

But there are more to just the Y then its facilities. Here are just a few more reasons why you should volunteer or join.

  • You become part of a community – By becoming part of the Y you build relationships with people in your community and become part of the overall good in the community.
  • You can become a mentor in a child’s life – Thousands of at-risk youth are being helped by the Y. Through the help of families and volunteers it is possible to give a child a future.
  • Get in shape – Becoming a member gives you access to gym facilities and access to a variety of exercise programs such as Zumba, yoga, and martial arts.
  • Gets kids off the streets – The Y’s engaging after school programs fosters learning and exercise which gives the ma healthy outlet as they get older.

You can be a part of your Y by becoming a member or volunteering. Find the one nearest you and if there is none, you can always donate.

Have you been to your Y?

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Finding a Plant in a Concrete Jungle

In strictlybaltimore on December 4, 2012 at 9:45 am


Baltimore Green Space

In this concrete jungle it is rare that you see plants and vegetables growing in your neighborhood.

But with Baltimore Green Space they are looking to change that one neighborhood at a time.

Baltimore Green Space, a nonprofit land trust, preserves and supports community gardens and community-managed open spaces. Founded in 2007 they have expanded to three locations, one in Upper Fells Point, Duncan Street, and Pigtown.

Community-managed gardens and open spaces contribute positive effects to the community. An empty abandoned lot will transform an eye sore in to one of the prides of the community. Which will also increase the property value of your house.

While the Baltimore Green Space assists with protecting and preserving the community lot, it is up to the community to nurture and maintained. This is done through a community partner to maintain the quality of the green space which bond the community together.

They are always looking for assistance and locations to expand. If you have or know of an open space in your area that you would like to preserve please let them know. You can also volunteer your time or donate to the land trust.

When was the last time you watered a plant or stopped to smell a rose?

Also don’t forget to check out our website to see what is going on in Baltimore.

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Find Inspiration in the Past

In strictlybaltimore on December 3, 2012 at 9:08 am

Walters Art Museum

Walters Art Museum

Discover the Walters Art Museum

It’s easy to overlook something that has been a free source to the public but the Walters Art Museum should not be one of them. Baltimore’s art museum is in the heart of Mt. Vernon and free to the public.

Walk like an Egyptian in ancient Egypt. Learn from a scholar in ancient Greece. Find your knight in shining armor. With hundreds of arts spanning the centuries, from different cultures and places around the world, the Walters Art Museum has something that can appeal to everyone.

Imagine what life was like before electricity. Fascinating sculptures and paintings from different eras bring us glimpse of their culture and world. Learn from the geniuses of their era living in a land before the internet, laptops, or phones.

The Walters Art Museum wants you to do more than just admire the works of art from the past. With weekly events from classical music recitals to luncheon debates the Walters Art Museum aims for people to engage in the experience. Indulge yourself and attend one of the Walters Art Museum’s many events.

Hopefully the experience you gain from the gallery can inspire you to do something, art related or not.

What Will You Discover?

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Santa’s Tugboat Arrival

In strictlybaltimore on November 30, 2012 at 9:29 am

Santa Claus

Santa‘s Toot-Toot in Fells Point

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Want to get into the Christmas spirit?

Then come down to Fell’s Point for their 9th Annual Olde Tyme Christmas for a whole weekend of festivities.

This weekend marks the holiday season in Fells Point and marks the start of the Christmas Market, the one stop shop for all your holiday arts, crafts, and favors.

Some key events happening tonight are horse sleigh rides, Christmas music by Mix 106.5, holiday beer and wine tastings, and an address from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

And what better way to celebrate the 1st of December than with Santa’s arrival on a tugboat! Saturday is also sung with live Christmas Caroling and music with Santa’s arrival, gingerbread house making, Christmas Tree lighting, pub crawls, and more.Sunday ends with pet costume contests, wine and beer tastings, and studio dance and art.

The event is free and proceeds from the Olde Tyme Christmas will go to the Baltimore City Police Explorers Program, a police youth mentor program. The program exposes thousands of Baltimore youth to anti-crime and pro-education messages.

Check out Olde Tyme Christmas for details of each event. Also look at Santa’s entrance last year.

Also don’t forget to check out our website to see what is going on in Baltimore

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Helping Kids Get The Right Play

In strictlybaltimore on November 29, 2012 at 9:11 am

Playworks Volunteer Training Tonight!

WANTED: Enthusiastic high school students and adults looking to help their local elementary and middle schools with organized games.

Playworks is a non-profit organization that strives to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. Playworks needs volunteers to help Playworks coaches facilitate safe and healthy play and physical activities to low-income schools.

Tonight, November 29, from 6 – 8 PM at Waverly Elementary / Middle School, there will be Playworks Volunteer Training. During this training, volunteers will learn more about Playworks, play games that will help students focus more on their school work, and discover how much of an impact they can be in a child’s life and in the community by becoming a volunteer. Dinner will also be provided.

Most high schools need volunteer hours to graduate. The “volunteer” work done can count towards those required hours. Also the volunteer service that is done will look great on their college application.

If you can not make it to the volunteer training tonight, learn more from their website and apply online.

WHO: Playworks Volunteer Training
Waverly Elementary/Middle School, 3400 Ellerslie Ave Baltimore, MD 21218
11/29, 6 – 8 PM
WHAT: Learn more about Playworks. Discover new ways of volunteering through Play. Dinner will be provided. High school students and adults welcome. 

Also don’t forget to check out our website to see what is going on in Baltimore

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Turkey Trot 5K For The Y

In strictlybaltimore on November 21, 2012 at 10:38 am
Turkey Trot

The Thanksgiving 5K Walk/Run for the Y

Run. Fundraise. Donate.

Every year thousands from across Central Maryland join their neighbors for the Ys annual Turkey Trot 5K, a fun Thanksgiving tradition that appeals to families, individuals, runners, and leisurely strollers! Proceeds from these events go to support children and families in need.

This Thanksgiving we need your help more than ever before!

We have suddenly experienced a 200% increase in requests for assistance from families who can’t otherwise afford to send their young children to a Y Journeys early childhood preschool program. Young children who are left out of quality preschool programs like the Y’s, are almost destined to be academically and socially left behind.

Please help raise urgently needed funds for children of struggling families in our Y community!


WHERE: Towson Family Center Y – 600 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson
Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22 @ 7 AM
WHAT: Towson 5K Turkey Trot for the Y Centers of Central Maryland – In Center Rate: $30 – Race Day Rate: $35  – For more information about the Towson Turkey Trot, please contact Beverly Landis @ 410-823-8870 or

~ Taken from the Turkey Trot Website.

Also don’t forget to check out our website to see what is going on in Baltimore

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Show Your Voice

In strictlybaltimore on November 19, 2012 at 9:32 am
Open MIc Night

Open Mic Night

Open Mic Night!

Have new lyrics you want to sing? Have a poem to recite? Can you make people laugh? Know a great scene from a play or movie that you just want to act out? Then step out of your youtube channel and come do it live. Tonight is your night to show it to the world! 

Germano’s Trattoria, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Little Italy, has an open mic night tonight from 7:30-9:00 PM. Hosted by opera and cabaret singer Jennifer Blades and pianist Michael Sheppard to keep the atmosphere fun and light.

Music accompaniment can also be arranged for singers if sheet music is provided upon sign up.

There is a $10 cover for the event but no drink or food minimum.

So, if you’re looking to see the upcoming talent of Baltimore, want to express yourself, or just looking for something fun to do tonight then come check out the open mic night! Don’t let your magic mic be the one that gets all the action.

Spots and seats at this event are limited so call Germano’s @ 410-752-4515 to make reservations and book your spot.

WHERE: Germano’s Trattoria, 300 S. High St., Baltimore, MD 21202
11/19, 7:30 – 9 PM
WHAT: Open Mic Night! Express yourself. $10 cover Emcees by Jennifer Blades and Michael Sheppard. Please send your sheet music prior to sign up for musical accompaniment. 

Also don’t forget to check out our website to see what is going on in Baltimore

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Early Known Santa Sightings in Baltimore

In strictlybaltimore on November 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Where is Santa?

Next week is Thanksgiving which marks the start of the holiday season. But if you’re in the holiday spirit already, then you’ll want to find the person that embodies the season of giving, Santa Claus.

So, where can you find that holly jolly St. Nick around Baltimore? 

So to get everyone in the mood for the holiday season. We tweeted Santa and he told us where he’s going to be this season. Here’s where he and his little elves will be around our charmed city this weekend.

Inner Harbor
Watch his arrival tomorrow, Saturday, from 5-7 as he brings his merry workers down to his downtown workshop. Right in the heart of the Inner Harbor, Santa’s put his workshop for all to see. While people are touring the city they can stop by and talk to good ol’ St. Nick.

While your there check out the light show spectacular at the Power Plant. The iconic Power Plant has been transformed to give a Holiday Light Show to get anyone in the holiday mood. Check out the times the lights will come to life.

Towson Town Center
While your checking off your grown up Christmas list and check it twice, stop and drop it off to Santa personally at Towson.

Arundel Mills
Take a break from gambling, movie watching, and spend some time with Santa right near the food court.

Also if you’re looking for more Holiday events around the city check out It’s a Waterfront Life. It lists a lot of holiday events around the city.

Also don’t forget to check out our website to see what is going on in Baltimore

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A Baltimore Gem in The City That Reads

In strictlybaltimore on November 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

The Village Learning Place

The Village Learning Place

This blog and our website is dedicated to help you find a way to dedicate your free time to something you can be passionate about. While we gear mainly to sports and activities that are social and make you sweat, we also want to give resources and ways on how you can be a better person. With that in mind we are starting a new series for Strictly Baltimore showcasing volunteer opportunities and helpful ways to give back to Baltimore. It’s called “Give Back Baltimore.”

If you have lived here long enough, you used to remember when Baltimore City used to be called “The City That Reads.” While that may or may not be the case one thing is for sure. This organization can believe it.

The Village Learning Center is an independent non-profit library. But take one look at what they do and you see more than that. Located in Charles Village, they focus on the personal and professional growth by hosting programs and resources for the community.

True to their name, the VLP provides monthly activities and programs for all ages to participate and learn.

Every second Wednesday the VLP offers a free lecture, concert, or special arts event. For instance, yesterday they had a Holiday Artisan Market, a great collection of handcrafted products that make the perfect holiday gift. Don’t miss their next and last installment of this year, Wednesday, Deecmber 12, where there will be a performance by Camerata Musica, singers of Renaissance Madrigal music.

They also team up with LINK (Let’s Invest In Neighborhood Kids) to offer after school and summer programs for kids in the city. The Village Learning Place also offers one-on-one tutoring for people looking to pass their GED‘s.

They are always looking for people to get involved and be a part of the Village Learning Place. Donations, volunteering, tweets, anything and everything would help their cause of community enrichment and lifelong learning.

Give Back to Baltimore. 

When was the last time you volunteered? 
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Finding Strength to Take the Leap

In strictlybaltimore on November 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

The Leap

Take Your Leap

Taking That Leap

Since this site and blog is talking about following your passion. It may mean that you may have to conquer some of your fears and personal anxieties at some point and what I want to share is one of the stories where I did that. 

I have acrophobiaI am afraid of heights. Looking down a spiral staircase 3 floors up makes my stomach churn. I get scared when I wait by the stairs in line on a water ride and a breeze comes by.

So being afraid of heights, the thought of a rope and a knot is the difference between me and a 50-foot drop is frightening to say the least. Yet for some reason I let my fears go and let the instructor tie my harness. Body shaking, shortness of breath, and anxiety kicked in moments after she told me that I was ready to climb.

Here I am, this medium-built, six-foot tall, 200-pound guy about to climb this wall and I have a little petite freshman half my size harnessed to the ground to prevent my imminent doom. Still I decided that if I didn’t face my fear of heights that day, I would find another excuse later down the road and never do this. Despite her size, I still pressed on.

As I placed my hand on the first feature on the wall, I started to see the trajectory I needed to get to the top and I was intently focused on following it. Not taking a second to look down I would just feel where my feet and its placement would go and just keep my eyes on going up. I felt as though if I stopped or focused at the bottom, my adrenaline would drop and my eminent fear of heights would kick back in.

So I just kept going higher and higher. 

Finally, as I reached the top I realized that I have finally conquered my fears and rock climbed. But as I realize that I know that, thanks to gravity, what goes up must come down. Which means I would eventually have to take my grip away from the wall and trust my life on this rope and this girl who I don’t think can support my weight.

As she gives me the okay to let go, with all of her hands on the rope and feet grounded to slowly let me go, I catch a glimpse of just how far I have climbed.

It was a feeling of accomplishment and terror all at once. 

My arms were tiring from the climb. My adrenaline was beginning to drop and the anxiety was beginning to set. At that moment of exhaustion and anxiety, I decided that I needed to take another leap and just trust the rope and this little lady.

So I let go.

But as I let go and hung on the rope, she gently started lowering me down the wall. As my fear passed and touched the land that I wish I hadn’t left, I realized what I had accomplished.

Now even after that moment I still have a slight fear of heights. The stairs still scare me a little. But when I am faced with an obstacle where I am afraid to do something, I think about this moment and how I felt. I have conquered my fears, this feeling, before and I can do whatever I put my mind to.  (I still rock climb with some friends when we get the chance and urge.)

So with that said:

Where do you find your strength to overcome your fears?


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